Looking back at Zycus Horizon 2017 - part 2

October 24, 2017

Implementations and the future of procurement

The third day started with sharing experiences during and after the implementation of Zycus, told by Paul Stasko of Curtiss-Wright. They started with rolling out Zycus iAnalyze and realised significant cost savings for Non Product Related (NPR) spend in particular. Subsequently, they started with implementing other Zycus-modules.

During the implementation it became clear that they applied Zycus' best practice unknowingly. As Qando, we can confirm this best practice and are happy to provide you with a further explanation.

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Panel discussion

A panel discussion with experts from Forrester, Gartner and SpendMatters learns that the future role of procurement will be as a service provider towards the business. This comes with concepts like virtualisation, guided buying and gamification. For this, a strongly personalised interface for end users is important.

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Duncan Jones, Forrester Research

Duncan Jones, Principal Analyst at Forrester, explained in a break-out session that the traditional role of procurement will disappear and self service procurement will emerge. He argues that you will be successful when you join the following shift:

  • Customer aware -> customer led
  • Data drive -> insight driven
  • Perfect -> Fast
  • Siloed -> connected

It is not about enforcing procedures but facilitating people in their work. Procurement should support people in making smart procurement decisions. Internal clients expect a B2C-user friendliness in a B2B-context.

Duncan recommends to use smart software from suppliers instead of developing highly customised systems since suppliers understand the internal client much better than the procurement team itself. Integrate this software with your own software and enforce supplier to support down selling as well, so value can be achieved for everyone:

  • Procurement: cost, policy compliance, savings
  • End user: own convenience, quality and reliability
  • Budget holder: delivering the right products/services within budget
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At the end, Duncan warns for mobile approvals. The mobile interface is insufficient for performing thorough checks before approving a request. Research shows that less then 10% of all managers do thorough checks and lean towards approving requests quickly for existing employees; new employees will get some extra attention. However, you can automate this process for 90% since it is all about fraud and risk patterns.

Jason Busch, Azul Partners & SpendMatters

Another break-out session with Jason Busch, founder Azul Partners & SpendMatters, gave a high-speed overview of current tech developments. A summary of each item would go too far for this blog post but we are sharing the overview below. Let us know if you require an additional explanation.

  • Cloud
  • Robotics / AI / Machine learning
  • Big data
  • Blockchain
  • Mobile
  • Internet of Things
  • OCR / Scanners
  • Intelligent apps
  • Conversational systems
  • Personalisation
  • Open standards

Also, Jason made some predictions for the future and came up with the following list of the (further) emergence of:

  • Analytics
  • Automated processing
  • Non-touch processing
  • Advanced guiding buying approaches
  • Improved search engines
  • Improved catalog management
  • Improved configurability engines
  • 3rd party add-value services
  • Project-based purchasing
  • Direct purchasing
  • Invoicing compliance
  • Supplier information management
  • Supplier network openness

Closing remarks

By now, the team of Qando finished the congress. Zycus clients were offered the opportunity to attend platform training sessions in the afternoon and attended a dinner at a well-known restaurant in New Orleans: Pat O'Briens, famous for their Hurricane cocktail.

Lucel Mulder

Written by Lucel Mulder

Qando | Business Development Manager